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Video Game: Persona Q: Shadow Of The Labyrinth
aka: Persona Q

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is a Nintendo 3DS Spin-Off of, interestingly, two franchises: Atlus' Persona and Etrian Odyssey games. The story is written by members of the Team Persona development group, and features a Cross Over between the casts of Persona 3 and Persona 4. But other aspects, such as gameplay and visual design, are taken directly from Etrian Odyssey. In fact, most of the production staff is from the Etrian Odyssey team, including director Kazuya Niinou and character artist Yuji Himukai.

The story revolves around a mysterious tower that is said to bring death to whoever hears its bell. When the tower appears at both Gekkoukan High School in the past and Yasogami High School in the future, the casts of Persona 3 and Persona 4 team up across time to investigate the tower's labyrinth. Along the way, they meet two brand new characters, Zen and Rei, who are connected to the tower.

The game was released in Japan on June 5th, 2014. A Western release is planned for November 25, 2014.

    Previews 

This game provides examples of:

  • Another Side, Another Story: Elements of the story will change depending on if you choose to start with the Persona 3 or the Persona 4 cast.
  • Badass Adorable: Everyone is turned into a Super-Deformed model, which is saying something for a series with plenty Darker and Edgier moments.
    • Of course, Etrian veterans know that, despite that series' generally "cute" character designs, those games don't really pull their punches either.
  • Battle Theme Music: "Light the Fire Up In The Night", which has a different instrumental part depending on whether you pick the main character from Persona 3 or Persona 4.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Zen refuses to leave Rei's side, to the point that he loses his stoic attitude when she's in danger. But Teddie seems to think it as a paternal protectiveness, while the others have the romantic vibe from it.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Kanji seems to be this toward Ken.
  • Big Damn Heroes: How the teams meet; and naturally, neither side can resist putting a little flair into their entrance. (The Investigation team even strikes a JoJo pose during their dramatic reveal.)
    Yosuke: Yo! Hope we didn't miss all the fun.
  • Big Eater: Rei eats tons of snacks, like half a dozen scoops of ice cream in one scene. She can even make corn-dogs magically appear out of nowhere.
  • Bonus Boss: In the first playtrough, there are multiple battles against Elizabeth and one battle against Margaret (which unlocks every one's Ultimate Personas). In New Game+, there is a battle against Elizabeth, Margaret and Theodore at the same time and one where you fight against Elizabeth who is possessed by Zeus.
  • Call Back: Like in Persona 1 and the Persona 2 duology, everyone on the coalition can enter the Velvet Room and, save for Zen and Rei, carry multiple Personas, not just the protagonists. Fuuka and Rise can also carry sub-Personas, which will still gain experience.
    • While it's also a gameplay mechanic of Etrian Odyssey itself, you can also play with up to five party members, which is true for P1 and both P2 games as well, as opposed to the four member parties of P3 and P4.
  • Canon Name: Subverted. Regardless of which protagonist you pick (P3 or P4), you have to name both in your file. There are no default names for either the first or second protagonist. Notably, the names what they have been called in the past (Minato Arisato, Makoto Yuuki, Yu Narukami, and Souji Seta) cannot be generated if you let the game select a random name for them (although Sakuya [朔也], the P3 protagonist's first name in The Weird Masquerade, is among the randomly generated names).
  • Clock Punk: The mysterious tower is filled with fantastical clockwork and gears.
  • Color-Coded Characters:
    • S.E.E.S. have light blue for the Persona 3 protagonist, pink for Yukari, dark blue for Junpei, red for Akihiko, magenta for Mitsuru, green for Fuuka, yellow for Aigis, brown for Koromaru, orange for Ken, and purple for Shinjiro.
    • The Investigation Team have gray for the Persona 4 protagonist, orange for Yosuke, green for Chie, red for Yukiko, purple for Kanji, pink for Rise, yellow for Teddie, and light blue for Naoto.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The game uses a lot of purple in its interface and art, to differentiate it from P3’s blue and P4’s yellow.
  • Cross Over: The full casts of Persona 3 and Persona 4 end up becoming involved in the mystery of the Labyrinth.
  • Crutch Character: When Zen and Rei join, they have the highest HP and SP in the party. This is because they're balanced with the Persona-users with Sub-Personas equipped, and Sub Personas aren't unlocked just yet.
  • Cuteness Proximity: To no one's surprise, Kanji becomes enamored with Koromaru the moment they meet.
  • Dead All Along: Rei or rather Niko.
  • Deadly Doctor: The plastic surgeon Shadows that are encountered in the final area of the third dungeon.
    "It's operation time~!"
  • Demonic Possession: During the last Elizabeth battle, she ends up getting possessed by Zeus.
  • Dialogue During Gameplay: The characters are very chatty during battle and will often exchange comments or barbs with their allies on their performances.
  • The Dividual: Zen and Rei function as a single unit in gameplay, even taking up only one character slot.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Dungeon and battle gameplay is identical to Etrian Odyssey, with some Persona-esque visual embellishments on top.
  • Do Not Spoil This Ending: Atlus has asked it's players not to upload gameplay footage online, and especially nothing from the Fourth Stratum onward (likely to involve a Wham Episode, see Four Is Death).
  • Dream Team: You can make a team of five composed of playable characters from both P3 and P4. 'Nuff said.
  • Eldritch Location: The Labyrinth of the Tower is a location outside reality where past and future can meet, filled with manifestations of the collective unconscious.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Played for Laughs with Mitsuru's executions, as usual. In one story sequence, she threatens to freeze Akihiko and Shinjiro while the two are arguing after being super-shrunken.
  • Four Is Death: Four dungeons are foreshadowed in the opening sequence, and there are four locks on a pair of mysterious doors which appeared in the Velvet Room…
  • Gaiden Game
  • Grim Reaper: Zen used to be one of the Deities of Death, Chronos.
  • Guns Akimbo: Automatic Crossbows, actually. How does Zen reload them anyways?
  • Hair-Raising Hare: The boss A Dear Friend (also known as Shadow Rei) is a large, demonic, white rabbit.
  • Harder Than Hard: The game has one in the form of Risky difficulty. The main differences are that you cannot change difficulty setting if you select it and you get a Game Over if your leader dies. Which means the final boss has to be defeated in 7 turns, because he hits the party with a countdown of instant death spell at the beginning of the fight.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Zen is large and imposing, while Rei is petite and disarming.
  • Identity Amnesia: Zen and Rei do not remember who they are. Turns out Zen did it to Rei, while Zen's amnesia is self-inflicted.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Parodied in one skit. In the third stratum of P4 route, P3 hero remarks the dungeon is especially obstructive, he might have to use his right eye. Yosuke latches at the idea said right eye is some kind of Magic Eye, only to be told that the dungeon is so dark and his Peek-a-Bangs only makes things harder.
  • Large and in Charge: The Queen of Hearts commands such a large army of card soldiers that the supporting protagonist's team step in to distract the soldiers while the main protagonist's team fight the Queen herself.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Let's just say Mitsuru doesn't take kindly to Teddie hitting on her…
    • In another sequence, when a super-shrunken Teddie gets a peek up Yukiko's skirt, Yukiko finally has enough of Teddie's perversion and squashes him flat underfoot.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Called the "The Wild Cards Premium Edition", it comes with a special 3DS XL case, art book, soundtrack CD, and physical representations of the tarot cards used in-game.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Zen and Rei can have a large variety of connected meanings in Japanese, none of which turn out to be the actual meanings of the names. It turns out that "Zen" is actually spelt "Zhn" and the full form of Rei's name is "Philé" - The greek words for "living" and "beloved".
    • Rei's real name, Niko can be read as "the second". As in "the second child" as Niko had an older relative.
    • An ironic example happens with Yuki, a friend of Niko. The first time she is brought up, her name is written as "there is hope"... on a card which she wrote to Niko after she died.
  • Mission Control: Fuuka and Rise, as usual. Downloadable Content gives options with the four Velvet Room assistants and Nanako.
  • The Nicknamer: Teddie, as usual. Here, he calls the P3 protagonist "Hancho" and Shinjiro "Gakky."
  • The Noseless: The Super-Deformed art style makes most of the characters appear to not have noses.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The usually unflappable Mitsuru screams her head off when she faces the Deadly Doctor Shadows referencing Mitsuru being experimented on by scientists under her Grandfather in the backstory of Persona 3.
    Mitsuru: STAY AWAAAAYY!!
  • Original Generation: Despite most of the cast being from Persona 3 and Persona 4, Zen and Rei are brand new characters who debuted in Q.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Main gameplay is practically Etrian Odyssey in a Persona flavor.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The protagonists have a bit of this going on. They're both the calm, collected leader-types; but the P4 hero has more assertive body language and is quite obviously "The Boss" of his crew, while the P3 hero leans more towards being The Quiet One and acts as the "pillar" of his team rather than leader. In the route where they can speak, P4 hero is more likely to make a quip, while P3 hero takes awhile to warm up. It goes to their teams too; Investigation Team's members take potshots at each other, more open about their secrets, and visibly laidback with it - while many of SEE's members are reserved, there's an air of professionalism between them, and even times where they're borderline hostile.
  • Running Gag:
    • Yukiko's beloved Groucho glasses make a comeback, with Yukari saying that they complement Junpei perfectly.
    • Margaret, a bearer of the Empress Arcana, being scary when pissed off? Been there.
    • A bit subtle, but P4 hero always land on his feet after falling from great height unlike the others. Watch everyone's reaction after falling from a trapdoor in the "Soulmate" minigame; he's the only one beside the Velvet Room attendants who's not dazed from the fall.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the Investigation Team trailer, the protagonists make a call-back joke to the demon contracts in the main Shin Megami Tensei series.
    • The shooting gallery that includes figures of Vincent Brooks in his underwear among a lineup of sheep.
    • When the Investigation Team first appears in the Persona 3 path, they're all doing the signature poses of major characters from Jojos Bizarre Adventure.
  • Sibling Team: All three of the Velvet Siblings (Elizabeth, Theodore, and Margaret) appear in this game to help the heroes.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: The two casts first encounter their counterparts as shadowy looking figures… only for their respective protagonists to walk out of the shadows and introduce themselves.
  • Spiritual Sequel: Heavily borrows elements from the Etrian Odyssey series:
    • Players have to draw their own dungeon maps.
    • Identical dungeon navigation.
    • Uses the Etrian Odyssey 4 engine.
    • Five-character battle party.
  • Stealth Pun: That "Q" letter in the title is shorthand for meikyuu (迷宮), meaning labyrinth, in reference to how Sekaiju no Meikyuu, the Japanese title of the Etrian Odyssey series, is abbreviated as SQ. It also sounds similar to "cute" to reflect the characters' appearances.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The Persona 3 protagonist, who had no spoken lines in that game.
  • Super-Deformed: The entire cast appears as smaller, cuter versions of their regular appearances from Persona 3 and Persona 4.
  • Time Travel: The tower allows the cast of Persona 3 from 2009 and the cast of Persona 4 from 2 years later to meet and team up. Which is why the P3 hero and Shinjiro are still alive.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Rei will eat anything that has flavor, but she likes corn dogs most of all.
    • Marie seems to be making a habit of chewing bubble gum.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Party members will yell at the leader if he neglects to level them up, just like in a Tales game.
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alternative title(s): Persona Q
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